We are thrilled to announce that Weyinmi Eribo has stepped into the prestigious role of Director General at Nigeria’s Women Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture. With her wealth of experience and unwavering dedication to women’s economic empowerment, Weyinmi is set to lead the chamber into a new era of growth and innovation.
Having amassed nearly 15 years of diverse expertise across various sectors, including oil and gas, impact investing, and entrepreneurship, Weyinmi brings a unique blend of skills and insights to her new role. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a deep commitment to fostering gender equality and driving meaningful change in the business landscape.
As Director General, Weyinmi will play a pivotal role in championing the interests of women entrepreneurs and advancing their economic participation across key industries. Her visionary leadership and strategic acumen will undoubtedly propel the chamber to new heights, opening up exciting opportunities for women-led businesses to thrive and succeed.
In addition to her role at the Women Chamber, Weyinmi is also the founder of the Wevvo Foundation, a community-based platform supporting female breadwinners, and co-founder of SEEDS Services, an impact fund empowering women in agribusiness. Her tireless advocacy and groundbreaking initiatives have earned her recognition as a trailblazer in the field of women’s empowerment.
We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Weyinmi Eribo to her new position as Director General. Her appointment marks a significant milestone in the journey towards gender equality and economic inclusion in Nigeria’s business landscape. We do not doubt that under her leadership, the Women’s Chamber will continue to serve as a beacon of inspiration and opportunity for women entrepreneurs across the country.
Join us in congratulating Weyinmi Eribo on this well-deserved achievement, and let us look forward to a future filled with progress and prosperity for women in business.
Kemi Olomola-Sijuwade (KoS) emerges as a distinguished professional, pioneering excellence at the intersection of real estate and law. With over two decades of experience and a relentless commitment to innovation, KoS has carved a unique path in both Canada and Nigeria.
A Journey of Excellence
Armed with a degree in law from a prestigious institution in the United Kingdom, KoS’s journey began with a firm foundation in legal practice. Over the years, she has seamlessly woven her legal expertise into the intricate realm of real estate, navigating diverse cultural and regulatory landscapes with finesse.
As the visionary Founder of Greenland Concepts Nigeria Limited, KoS embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and people empowerment. Her recent expansion into Canada with the opening of another Greenland Concepts office signifies her dedication to global growth and the pursuit of excellence in real estate.
Leadership and Impact
Beyond her corporate endeavors, KoS is deeply committed to community developmentand holds active memberships in prominent professional associations. Her leadership as the Managing Director of Nigeria Police Force Property Development and Construction Company Limited continues to shape the legal and business landscape, leaving an indelible mark on the professional community.
KoS’s journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs alike. Her resilience, adaptability, and unwavering commitment to excellence stand as a testament to the power of visionary leadership in driving societal change and fostering growth.
In a world where borders are transcended by expertise, Kemi Olomola-Sijuwade (KoS) stands as a beacon of inspiration—a woman seamlessly integrating legal finesse and real estate proficiency on an international stage. As she continues to shape the landscapes of both Canada and Nigeria, she remains dedicated to fostering growth, navigating complexities, and contributing to the vibrant tapestry of real estate and law in both nations.
Deborah Ewedafe, hailing from the heart of Delta State, Nigeria, is a remarkable storyteller and producer whose journey in the world of filmmakingis nothing short of extraordinary. Her path is characterized by unwavering determination, innovation, and a deep-seated passion for preserving culture. In the year 2020, Deborah embarked on her inaugural steps into the industry, and ever since she has etched an indelible mark upon the canvas of Nollywood.
A Passionate Genesis
Growing up in Delta State’s Isoko local government area, Deborah’s love for storytelling and the arts was nurtured by the rich tapestry of cultures and traditions that surrounded her. It was a love affair that eventually led her to the captivating worlds of film and theatre. In 2020, armed with ambition and a strong sense of purpose, Deborah embarked on her journey in the entertainment industry.
Challenges and Triumphs
The path to becoming a Nollywood producer was far from easy. Deborah encountered her fair share of obstacles, including financial constraints and the intricate nuances of film production. However, every challenge she faced became an opportunity for growth and learning. Deborah remained unwavering in her commitment to creating content that not only entertained but also celebrated Nigeria’s vibrant cultural diversity.
Pioneering Achievements in Canada
Among her numerous accomplishments, one milestone stands out prominently. Deborah Ewedafe became the first Nollywood movie producer to bring a film to the prestigious cineplexof Toronto, Canada. This historic achievement showcased Nigerian cinema’s global appeal and opened doors to international recognition. Additionally, Deborah proudly holds the title of being the first to produce a cultural stage play in Toronto, further solidifying Nollywood’s influence on the international stage.
In summary, Deborah Ewedafe’s journey is a testament to the power of dedication and determination in the pursuit of one’s dreams. As she continues to forge ahead, she remains committed to bringing captivating stories to audiences worldwide and pushing the boundaries of success in entertainment.
Erepade Isiayei is a Nigerian resident of Germany and a highly accomplished professional dedicated to positively impacting society. As the founder of the Erepade International Children Empowerment Foundation, an esteemed non-governmental organization (NGO), she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to enhancing educational opportunities in Africa.
With a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, Erepade has consistently embraced the role of a student. Presently, she holds the position of International Marketing Manager in a cutting-edge Hi-Tech company in Germany, where she leverages her expertise to contribute to the advancement of dental healthcare in Nigeria.
Beyond her professional achievements, Erepade is an inspiring social change agent, driven by her deep-rooted passions for social entrepreneurship, refugee support, and promoting girl child education. Her extensive volunteer experience spanning over 7 years has seen her actively engaged in local and international NGOs, dedicating her efforts to community development projects to empower children, youth, and women.
Erepade Isiayei’s multifaceted background and unwavering dedication to philanthropy exemplify her as a transformative force, poised to shape a brighter future for individuals and communities alike. In this interview with Esther Ijewere, she shares her inspiring story.
Everything that I am doing now is a reflection of my upbringing. Being the child of two amazing teachers I had to learn from an early age to be a role model.
Seeing my father’s generosity to the less privileged inspired me from an early age to become a giver and that validates the bible verse that says “Train up a child in the way it should go – and when it is old it will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
My upbringing in Nigeria, coupled with the loss of my parents and the responsibility of being part of a large family, has shaped me into a determined and adaptable individual. It has prepared me to face life’s challenges head-on and strive for success in my current pursuits.
The inspiration behind Erepade International Children Empowerment Foundation
My inspiration to start the Erepade International Children Empowerment Foundation can be traced back to the values instilled in me by my parents, particularly her father’s humanitarian work and dedication to education. Growing up in a household where humility and education were emphasized, I witnessed firsthand the transformative power of education and the impact it had on individuals and communities. My father’s commitment to sponsoring scholarships out of his pocket and supporting his students in various ways left a lasting impression on me.
Secondly, due to the wide-spreading notion of “who school help” in Nigeria and the negative effects it was been having on children and young people, I decided to come up with Erepade International Children Empowerment Foundation to promote education and entrepreneurial projects and to encourage young people to realize that education is still the key to having a competitive advantage on the world stage. So my motivation for starting the foundation stems more or less from a genuine desire to give back, inspired by my father’s humanitarianism and my own belief in being the change I want to see.
The journey so far
It hasn’t been easy for sure. I had to face issues with sponsorships, problems with project ideas and mobilization, validating the authenticity of some beneficiaries, coping with personal family issues, and focusing on work and studies.
Since starting the Erepade International Children Empowerment Foundation, the journey has been both challenging and rewarding. Establishing and running an organization dedicated to children’s education and empowerment comes with its own set of hurdles, but the impact it has made on the lives of children has been truly fulfilling.
Some challenges I’ve had were about supporting young girls who give up in the long run or drop out of school due to teenage pregnancy. I also faced situations where children I was sponsoring were picked up by relatives in the middle of the project.
Some other challenges include; securing consistent and sustainable funding, creating awareness and outreach, collaborating with other organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions, monitoring and evaluation, volunteering, etc.
How my work has inspired other women
Through my work at the Children empowerment foundation, I have had the privilege of inspiring and empowering other women around me in various ways.
My projects have inspired other women to go to school and become independent and have also been a reason for a few of them to see the need to organize their projects to support the less privileged in their little ways. I have the case of a young woman, Toyin Bolarinwa, who amazed me with her food project in Delta State after I supported her some time ago.
Other projects and activities
I’m actively volunteering for old people and people with disabilities. I was able to complete my first book, which is in publication.
Recently I had a project to support students suffering from dyscalculia because I am also a victim of it. The highlight of my projects is: God is using me as an instrument to support a young lady to get out of a legal procedure and I’m looking forward to seeing her back to university with my other beneficiaries who are more like children to me.
What I enjoy most about my job
As the founder of the Erepade International Children Empowerment Foundation, several aspects of my job bring me immense joy and fulfillment. Here are a few things I enjoy most; I enjoy seeing the results and the success stories of my beneficiaries. It makes me feel like a mother with so many amazing daughters. I’m excited in 2023 I will have my first two graduates from the Delta State University Abraka, and Ignatius Ajuru.
In summary, what I enjoy most about my job is the ability to make a meaningful impact on children’s lives, empower individuals and communities, create sustainable change, collaborate with a passionate team, experience personal growth, and inspire others along the way. These aspects collectively make my job fulfilling and worthwhile.
And I would like to add Cynthia Adaeze Chinule because she didn’t just inspire me as a woman but she was more like an angel sent from heaven to put me back on track. She was an orphan who lost her father quite early, got into university but had no money for tuition, got the MTN scholarship, graduated with a first class in mathematics, went on to get a lot of prestigious fellowships worldwide, was featured on BBC, built a toilet for a secondary school in rivers state, founder of Maths Afrique and is still doing so many amazing things. Cynthia has taught me there are no excuses for failure in life and academics.
Advice for parents who don’t have time for their children
If I could say one thing to parents who don’t have time for their children, it would be this: prioritize quality time and meaningful connections with your children, for it is an investment that will shape their lives and your relationship with them.
Children thrive when they receive love, attention, and guidance from their parents. While it’s understandable that life can be busy and demanding, it’s crucial to carve out dedicated time to be present and engaged with your children.
Prioritizing time for your children may require some adjustments in your routines, schedules, or commitments. It’s a conscious choice to invest in the well-being and happiness of your children. The benefits of building a strong and loving relationship with your children will far outweigh any sacrifices or adjustments made along the way.
So, make the most of the time you have with your children, treasure these precious moments, and let them know they are a priority in your life.
How we can support children living in abusive homes
Supporting children living in abusive homes is of utmost importance to ensure their safety and well-being. Some actions can be taken to help such as;
recognizing the Signs, creating a safe environment, reporting suspected abuse to relevant authorities, offering emotional support, seeking professional assistance, raising awareness about child abuse and so on. The safety and well-being of every child should always be the top priority.
Being a Woman of Rubies
I’m a woman who strives to empower and inspire others to become the best version of themselves. I would say I’m a good example of what Abraham Lincoln meant when he said “Think not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.
To a young person who is on the verge of giving up
Don’t give up. Even in the face of challenges, remember that you have the strength and resilience to overcome them. God has already bestowed on you solutions to every problem you are facing. Just look inside yourself, and you will find the answers you seek.
How do I stay connected with my beneficiaries despite living in different countries
It’s important to stay connected and communicate directly with my beneficiaries but it’s quite difficult so I try to adapt and be flexible in finding the most effective means of staying connected based on the available resources, technological capabilities, and the specific needs of the beneficiaries. By maintaining open lines of communication, being responsive, and showing a genuine interest in their progress, I have been able to foster a strong and enduring connection despite the physical distance.
Stephanie Obi is popularly referred to as the Queen of Online Courses. She is an award winning business coach and the founder of TrainQuarters, the first female owned tech platform which provides tech support to thought leaders so that they can create and promote their products with ease.
She is the creator of the Course Launched Delivered program, which helps female thought leaders to earn Six Figures from creating and selling evergreen online courses.
She has helped some of Forbes Africa’s most powerful women and LinkedIn Top Voices to launch their courses and is the author of the Amazon best-selling book, Knowledge Is The New Gold.
Stephanie Obi is a recipient of the Beta Gamma Sigma 2021 Entrepreneurial Achievement Award, the Social Media for Social Good Award and was named one of the “100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria” in 2017 by Leading Ladies Africa.
She has spoken at the Women In Management, Business & Public Service Annual Conference, one of the largest women in leadership conferences in Africa, as well as The Lagos Business School’s Entrepreneurship Expo and Contest.
She’s a First-Class Graduate of Computer Science and holds an MBA from the prestigious Lagos Business School.
Growing up, all the women entrepreneurs she saw owned mom and pop shops. They never grew to be CEOs of big companies and so Stephanie didn’t even know that women could be CEOs. It was not on the cards for her and she thought the best she could be was to rise up the career ladder in a good job, get married, have children and be satisfied.
Her perception started to change when she started to see other women who were mothers and wives and had founded successful businesses. She started to see that it was possible for her. What made their stories so profound was that they were just like her. African Women.
Representation matters. If young girls see other women who look and sound like them founding companies, it helps to build a pipeline of women founders.
This for Stephanie, is why she believes that the biggest hindrance to women founding companies is the lack of representation. If women see women who are just like them founding companies, they will be inspired to start.
To empower women to become founders, Stephanie’s company has helped thousands of women to start an online course business using their different training programs.
Bridging the gap
In the course of the trainings, she also noticed that a lot of women were not tech inclined and this stopped them from really growing. In order to resolve this challenge, they built an easy to use online business platform, TrainQuarters which makes it easy for women to create and sell all their training products online.
Stephanie believes that female entrepreneurship will go a long way to alleviate the effect of poverty in African households. With more disposable income in the household, children can be exposed to more opportunities.
Stephanie is particular about women empowerment because she believes that when women are empowered, communities become empowered.
She also believes that there are problems that women are in a better position to solve just because of their feminine nature. If women become founders, they will be able to contribute their innovative ideas to solving problems that society has.
Stephanie mentioned practical ways that women can be empowered and in her own words, “One powerful way to empower more women to become women founders is just by showcasing the stories of diverse women entrepreneurs from different backgrounds. Women should be exposed to more female founders as they grow up, and as much as possible, entrepreneurship should be a part of the curriculum in schools.”
“Access to funding will help a lot of women to become founders however a lot of women struggle to access the available funds because they cannot pitch themselves. There should be training programs focused on teaching women how to pitch and to access funds. It will also help if women can become investors because investors tend to invest in people who look like them.”
Through her website, she has reached over 82,000 people in over 10 countries.
She has also been recognized as one of the 100 most inspiring women in Nigeria, and won First prize at the Wimbiz Impact Investment Competition.
Sally Suleiman is an extraordinary humanitarian. She lends her voice to the voiceless, and disadvantaged persons in the society on and offline.
The notable Humanitarian, Strategist, Writer and a Media Personality is also the founder of The Isolycia Foundation – a Non Governmental organization that focuses on Education for underprivileged children.
She has impacted and put smiles in the lives of many children through hereducationaloutreach.
Sally Suleiman is an Alumna of Middlesex University where she studied International Business and she’s part of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Sally through her social media platforms has become an household name, using her voice and resources where it matters.
She has worked in the oil and gas industry for more than ten years, as well as in the media for ten years. She excels at brand management, project management, sales, marketing, administration, customer service, company development, and content production.
She has received the necessary training and grooming to become a purpose-driven individual with a drive for success and an appetite for excellence, making her well-suited to make a meaningful contribution to any assigned team and the company as a whole.
Sally shares her inspiring journey, and how her mom’s death changed her perception of life in this exclusive interview with Esther Ijewere.
I was such a generous and empathetic child. I loved to do things for people, I loved to help the poor. I started helping when I was in primary school, I would give the less privileged my old school items and even share my lunch and lunch money with the underprivileged. So I had that path right from my childhood.
My childhood wasn’t the best. I lost my Mum when I was 5years old. This made me grow up very fast and opened me up to challenges that a 5years old shouldn’t be going through. My Mum was a great woman, she was a teacher, she was my best friend, she was my everything, that was a very painful experience for me and my siblings.
Things changed when my wonderful stepmom came into the home, I am who I am today because of this woman, she made sure that I grew up in the way of the Lord, she taught me almost everything that I know today. I owe my success to her.
Inspiration behind Isolycia Foundation
The Isolycia Foundation was inspired by my love for education especially at the elementary level. I believe that every child should be in school, peculiarly at that tender age. So the Isolycia foundation focuses on education for children in rural areas. We also sensitize parents on the need to send their children to school. I formed the name from my late mum’s name and my step mum’s name.
The Journey So Far
It’s been humbling so far. Every challenge I face teaches me a lesson, so I’m grateful.
Supporting The Less Privileged And Using My Platform For Social Good
I love the fact that I wake up fulfilled doing what I love to do. I love the fact that I’m able to touch lives and inspire people. I get messages everyday from people saying how much I inspire and motivate them, this is enough impact for me knowing that I am touching the world one day at a time.
The Impact Of Being A YALI fellow
It has helped through learning by taking their courses. I’m a professional at what I do because of the available resources YALI provided.
Coordinating A Giveaway Platform Online
Giveaway platform just like the name implies, is a platform where I give out things to people, this is part of my Social responsibility for being a media personality. I also help promote small businesses through this platform, I open them up to their potential clients.
Positive And Negative Side of Being a Social Media Influencer
The positive side is impacting lives and making money (LOL), the negative side is sometimes you get misunderstood and you get attacked. You experience bullying, hate and all sorts. But I have learnt to ignore and focus on the positives and those who love me.
Challenges Of My Work
It could be tasking financially because I do not depend on anyone, I do everything from my pocket. Also managing my time can be challenging. I have so much to do but little time.
These women inspire me in different ways. Their passion, their success, the change they bring in their various fields inspires me.
Nuggets on the power of community service
Community service connects you to others. It allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place.
Community service increases your social and relationship skills
Community service also increases your self-confidence. It provides a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment.
I’m going to leave a quote by Denzel Washington – “At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished… it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”
Being a Woman of Rubies
I’m a woman of rubies because I stay positive, i inspire and impact lives.
Women of Rubies was created by Esther Ijewere to celebrate exceptional women. Esther Ijewere is an enterprising social activist, women’s advocate, columnist, author and the Founder of Rubies Ink Initiative for Women and Children — a non-profit outfit devoted to advocacy, development and social enterprise solutions amongst others.
An Olabisi Onabanjo University trained Sociologist, Esther Ijewere is the brain behind W.A.R. — Walk Against Rape, an advocacy initiative created to lend a voice for the victims of rape and demand justice, an initiative endorsed by the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
The NGO organises workshops in secondary schools tagged College Acquaintance Rape Education (C.A.R.E) in partnership with the Lagos state Ministry of Justice and the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT). Esther, the initiator of Project Capable; a Lagos State Ministry of Education approved programme, Esther is the youngest recipient of The Idea Builders Women Mentoring Women Award, winning Mentee of the year 2010 and “Women Enterprise Award” from Vital Voices International & Exxon Mobil.
She also won the award for “Best Use of Advocacy” from her Alma Mata; Olabisi Onabanjo University in 2012, for her contribution in fighting and creating awareness on Rape.
In 2016 Esther bagged four awards for her platform Women of Rubies, notably among these award is “Young Person of the Year” and “Wise Women in Media” awards.
She is a Fellow with Vital Voices Global Leadership USA; an organization founded by Hillary Clinton and aimed at empowering young women change makers all over the world.
She unveiled her first book on rape and violence against women, titled “Breaking the Silence”. She is also a columnist with the Guardian Newspaper, her page “ Women of Rubies” a platform used to celebrate exceptional women with inspiring stories, the page is a sequel to her award winning blog www.womenofrubies.com, which is fast becoming the one stop blog for the everyday woman. Esther recently started a platform for men called “Men who Inspire”, to further balance her advocacy work as an advocate, and also kicked off the #GettalkingwithEsther show to spread positivity on social media.
Kindly tell us the story of Women of Rubies, your career path and how it all started?
Women of Rubies was born out of my passion for humanity. I started out as a social activist, lending my voice to victims of rape, and other forms of gender-based violence. This evolved into the media, which is the Women of Rubies platform where I use my column and blog as a vehicle of social change to put the spotlight on other women in different sectors who are contributing their quota to nation building and adding value to the society through their work.
Looking back, would you say Women of Rubies and your other initiatives have achieved what it set out to accomplish?
Absolutely! We have accomplished even more than we envisaged ten years ago. Despite the losses we suffered, we have stayed solid and consistent through the years.
Every project we have embarked on has impacted lives and added value. We have served those at the grassroots and the high earned professionals. The ripple effect of the work we do is unquantifiable, and that’s the reason why even after 10 years, with all the bumps and losses we’ve encountered, we are still very relevant in the sectors we represent, because God is fully involved in everything we do.
Rubies Ink Initiative championed the first of its kind Walk against Rape campaign in Nigeria, The walk did not only encourage victims of rape to speak up, It also became an annual event most of concerned Nigerians and celebrities look forward to. We used different toolkit (workshops, media, information handbook, town hall meetings in different communities) to educate and sensitize the society.
We also got justice for several victims through our alliance with the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and the domestic and sexual violence response team (DSVRT). The walk is endorsed by the Federal and State Government respectively. We have over fifty celebrities and influencers who are our ambassadors.
They use their platforms to educate the society on the scourge of rape, and aim for victims to get justice. The walk will be moving to other parts of Nigeria this year by God’s grace.
With Women of Rubies, we have given visibility and brought stories of different amazing women to the front burner, featured and celebrated over 1000 (one thousand women) through our Guardian Newspaper column, blog and social media pages.
We have raised over N5M funds for several women in distress, paid hospital bills, supported widows, paid rent for homeless victims of domestic violence and also re-integrate them back into the society. During the thick of COVID-19 pandemic, we were one of the organizations at the forefront raising funds for families who were affected, and we continue to support many.
Let’s talk about “Get Talking with Esther”. Can you shed more light on this project?
I am very expressive, I love to write and read from people, I love to celebrate people and give them hope, I love when I can feel people’s thoughts through words. “Get talking with Esther” is just about that. It’s a #Tweetchat session that gives you the ambience of a show on Twitter.
Basically, using my platform, years of experience, and skill set for social good to give everyone a voice. We fix broken tables, bring “Under the table” conversations to the front burner for positivity. We bring people who share life experiences, healing, and learning. My mission is to use the show to spread positivity on social media, especially Twitter. It will be 2 years by August 13th, 2022.
Intimate us about your proudest moments in the last ten years?
There are many proud moments, and it will be hard to pick just one. But I’d say each time I touch someone’s life, give hope to a helpless person, use my platform to celebrate a person who needs visibility and light up someone’s dark path, it becomes a proud moment.
The joy of giving back and paying it forward is innate. It’s my happy place. Above all, being a mother, and experiencing childbirth is my proudest moment. The joy of holding your baby in your hands. It’s unexplainable. I pray every woman seeking the fruit of the womb will experience this.
Kindly mention some of the lessons life has taught you?
Patience; life has taught me to be patient with myself and others. Setting boundaries is also one of the lessons I have learnt over the years. For a longtime, I didn’t have boundaries, and I ended up burning out and feeling used. The moment I started setting my boundaries, things changed. I learned how to say no respectfully without feeling guilty. Setting boundaries has helped me greatly in navigating where and who I give my energy.
Life also taught me the beauty of releasing power and letting go easily. While I am still a work in progress, these lessons have helped me stay grounded and focused.
You have a passion for women and single mothers. How was this ignited?
My passion for women is innate, I mean being a woman, I should love and support other women naturally. However, single motherhood is very personal. I am a single mum, I know and identify the pain and struggles of single mothers. It’s twice the sacrifice, and it takes a lot to raise kids alone. Spreading light to other lone parents is from a place of experience, love and understanding. I wish society would judge us less, and support us more.
Was there any time you had felt like giving in, wrapping your platforms and moving on?
Yes, several times. It’s hard to run an organization in Nigeria, especially when you don’t have core funding and lack committed human power. I almost gave up everything when my marriage crashed. My saving grace was remembering that my purpose is bigger than me, and my light is brighter than being a wife. Each time I have those wrapping up moments, I reflect on why I started and the beautiful moments.I will keep pushing against all odds. It’s an assignment and I have to do it well. Giving up is not an option.
Esther is smart, strong, opinionated, and kind hearted. She is determined, dogged and much focused. She is passionate about issues that affect women and children. She is the Introvert, who loves her own space, the multi-tasking single mum who works hard so her kids can learn all she was not taught. The deep soul, and very spiritual woman who prays a lot. The writer who writes with passion and deep understanding for humanity. The very private woman who prefers to share her work than her personal life. The playful, happy-go-lucky girl who is living intentionally. Esther, like every human is not perfect. She is a work in progress
What principles have worked for you over the years?
Putting God first, staying focused, honesty, diligence and speaking my truth against all odds. These principles have and continue to help me stay grounded.
How did you build such a strong following on social media?
That’s the power of consistency. I have also managed to keep a drama-free life on social media, separated my personal life from my work, and consciously use my platforms to support folks and spread love and light. I have also focused on being relevant and not just popular. I worked hard over the years to make my name a solution to a problem I solve. People gravitate towards value naturally. However, I do not take glory for any of it. I am just a vessel doing God’s bidding on earth. It is my hope that my light continues to attract and touch souls all over the world, even beyond social media.
Who are your role models?
My Mom for being a strong support system and instilling the right values in me. I always tell people that my life, especially my philanthropic side, is a reflection of good upbringing. However, I am a mummy’s girl with a mind of my own.
Oprah Winfrey- Her success and resilience is a vision board of what I intend to be and more. One of my late Uncles; Bolaji Rosiji, told me one time that my drive and passion reminds him of Oprah. It’s a compliment I hold dear to my heart. I wish to meet her someday.
Every woman before me in the development, advocacy and media sector is my role model. I have great respect for pace-setters who gave young women like me wings to fly, the ones who make room for us to grow and amplify our light.
If you were to start all over again what will you do differently?
I will align with people who have more expertise than me, and be more open about my struggles and challenges. Being in a society where you are constantly judged for your failure and mistakes could kill your morale, and make it hard for you to open up.
I am learning how to ask for help and lean on people who can add value to me, and my brand. Life is a lesson, I embrace everything with love, and open to change and best practices.
What is your message to women battling one challenge or the other?
Don’t give up! .There is light at the end of the dark tunnel. Don’t keep your problems to yourself, share with people who can proffer solutions and help. You are not your mistake and challenges, don’t let it consume you. There is always someone out there you can talk to, and ask for support.
I meditate, listen to frequency music, practice self-affirmations, focus on my power spot for energy boost, and stay mindful. I reduce my screen time when I am down and just be in the moment, appreciating the things in my present.
Watch: How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome
How do you unwind?
Spending time with my kids, Netflix and chill, and sometimes hanging out with friends and family who love me for who I am.
Mrs. Toyin Saraki has stressed on the need to efficiently train and successfully deploy nurses as a way of boosting healthcare in Nigeria. She is the Founder and President, Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA).
She made this call at the Lagos Health Service 13th Annual Nurses Scientific Conference. Themed ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Invest in Nursing and Respect Rights to Secure Global Health’.
The conference, which was the highlight of the Lagos state edition of the 2022 Nurses Week, was organised to update nurses’ knowledge on current trends in nursing practice, present measures to overcome the current day challenges in healthcare delivery.
It also focused on contemporary issues worldwide affecting service delivery and proffer possible solutions and particularly, to bring the nursing profession to the fore, by strengthening the bond with other stakeholders in the health sectors within and outside Lagos, State.
Speaking on the importance of a motivated nursing workforce at the conference, Saraki, whose foundation donated to support the education and training objectives of the commission pointed out that nurses and midwives constitute majority of the global health workforce and the largest health care expenditure.
“Efficient production, successful deployment, and ongoing retention based on carefully constructed policies regarding the career opportunities of nurses, midwives, and other providers in healthcare systems are key to ensuring universal health coverage. The World Health Organisation estimates that an additional nine million nurses and midwives are needed if the world is to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.”
For First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, “nurses are resilient and dynamic, their efforts are duly recognized by Mr. Governor. Sadly, we need to go back to the drawing board to see why there is a high rate of brain drain in the sector. I commend the nursing practitioners and thank all nurses on behalf of the citizens of Lagos State”.
In a keynote address by Professor Florence Oluyemisi Adeyemo of the Faculty of Nursing Science, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, she highlighted that a key component of professional nursing practice and provision of high-quality patient care is the involvement of nurses in practice-based research.
Since 2015, WBFA in partnership with its global partners and donors has ran core maternal infant and young child feeding and nutrition education training in over 370 health facilities in Lagos state through its Mamacare360 Community Midwifery Antenatal and Postnatal Education Programme, Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) up skilling for health workers, Medela Cares NICU-Specific Lactation Support, Nutritional International LO-ORS Zinc to Combat Diarrheal Disease in Sokoto and Kano states, as well as the Alive and Thrive Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) programme.
Other Special Guests at the conference were HRM Oba Kabiru Sotobi, The Ayangburen of Ikorodu, alongside the Honorable Commissioner For Health represented by Permanent Secretary Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, Mrs. Kemi Ogunyemi HSC Commissioner IV, and Lagos State Health Service Commission Nurses led by Director of Nursing Services, Mrs. Adebukola Cole.
The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to start a compulsory premarital counseling exercises for intending couples in its latest bid to prevent and eradicate domestic violence in marriage,
The plan was announced by the government during a one-day engagement program for the state’s marriage registrars, organized by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence agency (DSVA) in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Kikelomo Sanyaolu, the permanent secretary for the ministry announced this as a measure to prevent domestic violence across the state. Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the executive secretary of the DSVA expressed her concerns about the gap in professional pre-marital counseling in the country and how it could have prevented most of the domestic violence cases because over 60% of victims saw the signs before getting married and still went ahead no thanks to inadequate counsel.
The event which had notable facilitators like Tinuke Odukoya, the Executive Director, Center for women’s health and information, Mr. Oladele Emmanuel, Founder, Institute of marriage administrators and counselors of Nigeria also had in attendance Mr. Praise Fowowe of the Institute of Family Engineering and development who had worked closely with the state in designing the 8 module pre-marital counseling program.
Mr. Praise Fowowe shared a data driven approach to curbing domestic violence through effective pre-marital counseling sessions. He commended the Lagos State Government for this initiative and entertained questions from the registrars on the challenges they have been facing and how to resolve complex marital issues.
Mrs. Titilola Vivour- Adeniyi announced a 3 – day training for the registrars to introduce them to the curriculum and train them on how to facilitate effective pre-marital counseling.
Neya Kalu is the Chairman and Publisher of The Sun Nigeria, founded and published in Nigeria. A reputable news outlet in Nigeria and around the world. She is also the founder and CEO of Basecoat Nigeria, a nail salon chain changing the face of the Nail Industry in Nigeria.
Barrister Neya Uzor-Kalu has a degree in Law and an MSc. in Finance from the University of Buckingham, United Kingdom. She has 12 years experience crafting and implementing business initiatives across industries. The amazing businesswoman had previously worked in the banking sector, for five years, in the role of Human Resource Manager before her appointment as Chairman/Publisher of the Sun Nigeria.
Neya leads the Board on strategic matters, establishes high governance, and oversees the company’s business. She is also the Vice-Chairman of Sun Heavens Hotels and Resorts. With a strong interest in social issues and a desire to empower women, Neya works with the OUK Foundation to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs one through six. She shares her inspiring journey with Esther Ijewere in this interview.
I believe my childhood influenced what I do now, which is to lead several businesses, the most recent being my appointment as publisher and chairman of The Sun Nigeria. My upbringing was fairly isolated, and I had plenty of time to daydream about a lot of things including becoming an entrepreneur, just like my father.
Inspiration Behind Basecoat
I left my job in banking after the birth of my son in search of something that would allow me to spend more time with him, and I’ve always been very passionate about nails. I believe I was the only person in high school/college with acrylics and nail designs, so opening my own salon, Basecoat, was a no-brainer for me. Basecoat has been around for a few years now, and I’m pleased with how far we’ve come.
The Journey So Far
It’s been nothing short of incredible. I never intend to brag, but I believe Basecoat is providing a completely unique experience in the Nigerian nail industry. Building and nurturing our vision at Basecoat has not been without challenges, but this has not stopped us from providing excellent service to our customers. A standard that we intend to maintain regardless of the current economic climate.
How I became chairman and publisher of The Sun Nigeria
Through perseverance and hard work. I’ve spent so many years in the background, observing, learning, and collaborating with the team. I suppose the time had come for me to take over as chairman and publisher.
Lessons I Have Learned As The Publisher Of A Newspaper Outlet
It’s only been a few months since I took over as chairman and publisher, but the lessons I’ve learned so far are that hard work pays off no matter where you are in life and that your team is just as important, if not more important, than you.
My Thoughts On Fake News And The Importance Of Fact Checking
We’ve seen the damage that fake news can cause in any society. As a result, it’s critical that people get their information from reliable sources, such as news outlets or reputable bloggers. Consumers should also be cautious about where they turn for reliable news. With social media at everyone’s fingertips, it’s easy for fake news to spread, and while we, the publishers, ensure that due diligence is done and that any information published on our platform(s) is credible, the general public also has a role to play, which means that any news source they get information from online must be credible.
My Work With OUK Foundation, And Passion For SDG Goal Six
While working with the OUK foundation, I like to think of myself as a secret santa because I am very passionate about the work we do – providing health benefits, education, access to clean water and food, job opportunities, and so on. We are currently working on providing viable resources for children in some schools across the country.
One Thing I Wish To Change In The Media Sector
The perception that all journalists want to smear everyone’s reputation. A good journalist’s job is to report the news as accurately and transparently as possible.
How Career Women Can Create Work-Life Balance
I think it’s important to prioritize what is truly important to you and want to do so it will be easy to navigate and balance out the work-life combination.
3 Women Who Inspire Me And Why
Bella Disu – Her age hasn’t stopped her from attaining her goals.
The Late Dora Akunyili – For her strength and tenacity (May her soul
continue to Rest in Peace).
Amina Mohammed – For the global impact she’s making through her
position as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group.
Importance Of Women Supporting Women
Supporting women is something that I take very seriously and it looks to me like women being the sisters’ keeper. The word “empowerment” is frequently misused. I believe that encouraging women to be better in order to do better for themselves is more motivating because there are some brilliant women out there who just need a little push.
Being The Daughter Of A Notable Politician And Founder Of Sun Nigeria, And The Lessons He Taught Me
To be honest, I believe it is simply being yourself. One of the most useful lessons my father has taught me, and it has truly helped me navigate my career path because hearing a lot of “NOs” along the way, especially as a female, can derail you and force you to be someone you are not, but you must learn to stay the course and be yourself. Because there is no other you, there is no more authentic you than you. And people just have to accept that.
Being A Woman Of Rubies
The fact that I am one of one makes me more valuable than rubies or any other gemstone on the planet.
To Young Women Who Are At A Crossroad And Trying To Find Their Purpose
The will to dream becomes the purpose for the vision. It is really a choice that we have to make. As I’ve always said, if you love something – nurture it and fight